The summer is now here, along with high temperatures and days with 100% humidity. In order to avoid the exhausting heat of the day, I get up very early to get done what needs to be done outside before the extreme heat begins, and then again in the evening, I work outside to finish what needs to be done.
Cuba is still in a partial lockdown. The vaccination of its citizens goes on, but it is a very slow process. Churches are open, but only small groups can meet. Only the “essential” stores are open. Stores open at 9:00 a.m., but the lines outside to enter the stores begin early, between 6:00 and 7:00 a.m. Bakeries open from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and again from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Many things are limited or non-existent.
However, the Gospel, which is to all and for all, is not limited. “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” (Romans 5:20)
The month of July began quite as June did. Everything was “normal” until Sunday, the 11th, when Cubans in many cities and towns across the island went out to the streets protesting to the Cuban government, shouting, “Freedom!” and “We want food!” In most places, the protest ended without violence, but in others, protesters and police got violent with each other, ending with both police and protesters hurt and many protesters arrested.
Monday morning, we expected more protests, but all cities were militarized, along with a lot of police everywhere. The cities and towns looked tense and calm at the same time. Since then, things have gone back to “normal.”
The last furlough we took was in 2014, ending in 2015, which was six years ago. We are planning a furlough beginning the last week in September of this year.
The purpose of our furlough:
1. To visit supporting churches that have not seen us since the early years of our ministry
2. To get a second opinion from a doctor in the U.S. for my wife’s illness
3. To visit other supporting churches that may want us to give a report
1. That I can continue to help the Cuban people.
2. That we make a safe trip to the United States.
3. That we can find a doctor in the States to help my wife.